A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|04/14/02 at 15:34:37|
|[i]the following is taken from a Q&A session with a muslim psychologist on islam-online.net[/i]|
Assalamualaikum warahmatullah, I am a married, young female junior medical doctor , normally fit and active; I have been diagnosed yesterday with pulmonary embolism (blood clot/s) in the lungs, a potentially fatal disease. Alhamdulillah , ALLAH the most Kind , Most Merciful had chosen me for this and I know that this is not but for his love for me as it would be either to reward me or at least my sins would be forgiven if I am patient. And indeed this trial is small in comparison to the trials ALLAH has inflicted upon many other muslims. We dont know when we die but now I know my risk of dying young is relatively high. Please give me some advise so that I can create a balance between continuing life optimistically and at the same time being well prepared to meet my Lord? What is sakaratul mawt? Is it equivalent to something like a cardiac arrest or is it the pain experienced during the death of body cells out of deprivation of oxygen or what is it? Is sakratul mawt the stage just before the soul is pulled out of the body ? I understand that the soul of the believers will be pulled gently by the angel of death; but at the same time sakaratul mawt will be painful (as suffered by the prophet s.a.w). Please enlighten me on this. Also, my parents lives in another faraway country. They are quite old. Should I tell them about my health? From the Islamic point of view, is it better or not for me to tell them? If I tell them , they may be more prepared (mentally)if anything happens to me but it would also mean making them worry rather unnecessarily ? Please make dua that me and other muslims die as true believers. Jazakumullah khairan
Answer Dear Sister:
wa alikum asslamu
I have been quite moved by your problem and I feel too small to give you the advice you require. I wish only to remind you of the authenticated Hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) in which a black women who was a companion of the Prophet (pbuh) complained to him that she suffered from epileptic seizures in which she lost consciousness and fell to the ground, sometimes exposing her body during her unconsciousness. She asked the Prophet (pbuh) to make Dua for her to be cured from her disease. The Prophet (pbuh) answered by saying that: I can now make dua for you and you will definitely be cured, but if you are patient enough to live with this disorder then I assure you paradise". The women said yes, Oh messenger of Allah I prefer to spend the rest of my life suffering from this disease and go to paradise; only make dua for me that when I am unconscious I do not expose any part of my body that should be covered. The Prophet then made Dua for her according to her wish. This woman lived for many years after the death of the Prophet (pbuh) and the companions of the Prophet will always point to her and say this is a women who will be admitted to paradise.
If we are to derive a lesson from this distinguished female companion, then in sha Allah I believe am not going beyond my limit if I give you good tidings that in sha Allah you are a women of Paradise if you continue to have the feelings and thoughts you have expressed in your question.
My dear daughter because of the influence of our modern materialistic life we consider death to be the end of life. In fact, death is stage in which the soul is freed from the prison of time and space, which we are locked up in this life. I would like to mention to you a very interesting simile which Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, the great Muslim sage(Wali), has mentioned in his Magnum Opus Ihya Ulum Addin. I will try to modernize this example for you. He says that if we can talk to a fetus about to be born and if the fetus can understand what is said to it, it would not be able to imagine our description about the world outside the darkness of the womb. If we tell it about the moon and the sun, he /she cannot comprehend them because of his/her mind limitation and his inter uterine environment. During his/her life in the uterus of the mother the most important organ to him was the placenta which gives him nourishment and oxygen and takes away his waist products. After he/she is born this placenta has no use for him/her. It is thrown away somewhere. When he/she is born in this world, it assumes the role of a very large uterus and his/her body assumes the role that the placenta used to take when he/she was in the uterus of his mother. If we are told in this world about life after death and the great things we will see in the Barzakh(intermediary stage between death and the afterlife) we will never be able to imagine them because we are like adult fetuses in the uterus of this life. When we die then we are reborn and we break the chains of the material world. In This way I imagine that our life is like a modern rocket when it breaks the gravitational force. Part of it will no longer have any use and it breaks of to free the essential component of the rocket to go faster to another planet.
So my dear daughter, death is an experience which we should look forward to if we really wish to free our souls from the gravitational pull of the sinful material world. The process of birth is a painful experience for the baby as he is pushed out of his mother's uterus, but after that he/she is rewarded by a much richer and more meaningful life.
As for your question about Sakarat Al-mawt, one can dare to say what ever pains a mo’min(believer) experiences is in fact nothing but a preparation for his rebirth in the next stage of life where he/she would meet his/her Creator and see the friendly angles recieving his/her soul and giving him/her glad tidings and spiritual pleasures which are beyond the description of any human language. The Prophet (pbuh) endured the pain of death(Sakrat al-Mawt) more then the usual mo'min because of the spiritual station in Heaven he was travelling to was higher then any other spiritual station that could be experienced by any creation of Allah(Human or not).
Dear daughter your case reminds of a Malaysian women who shares your description in terms of dedication and love to Allah(swt) and the Prophet(pbuh). She was suffering from cancer and during her painful terminal period she refused to take any pain killers. She was saying that she did not want to eclipse her mind by taking drugs because she wanted enjoy her last days in istighfaar(asking for forgiveness) and in the remembrance of Allah.
As for you parents, I cannot say definitively whether you should tell them or not. This may require the consent of somebody who is more learned in the Islamic religion then my self. However, if you have a younger relative living with your parents or who are near to them and they are wise enough to gradually give them information about your health at the appropriate time it would a more prudent approach to handling this problem.
Lastly, my daughter, you know as a medical doctor that there are many cases of spontaneous remission which medicine cannot explain. I personally know of a doctor who cancer was so advanced that it attacked his nervous system and was paralyzed. His brother, sitting at his deathbed was continuously making Dua for him, which he only stopped when he went to the bathroom. Professor Abu A'isha, proffessor of medicine in the University of King Saud in Riyadh was taking care of this case. The patient gradually improved and in a few months he was totally cured of his cancer. Modern medicine may call it spontaneous remission, but we know better. This case is verification of the verse in the Quran in which Allah says: Certainly He responds to the call of the needy caller when he calls. In sha Allah, I will make Dua for you.
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board